” Yellow House ” is a house of Albanian family Katuci in Ripe, near town Burell, North Albania, where UN prosecutors searched in 2004 for evidence that organs were illegally harvested from Serbs and other non-Albanian people kidnapped from Kosovo in 1999. Victims were kidnapped by Kosovo Liberation Army ( UCK) and then from Kosovo transported in North Albanian concentration camps.
In 2008, Del Ponte published a book “The Hunt” in which she collected rather extensive evidence that the Kosovo Albanians were smuggling human organs of kidnapped Serbs after the Kosovo war ended in 1999. Her book created an international controversy.
” A few months after [October 2002] the investigators of the tribunal and UNMIK reached central Albania and the yellow house which the journalists sources had revealed as the place where the prisoners were killed to transplant their organs. The journalists and the Albanian prosecutor accompanied the investigators on to the site.
The house was now white. The owner denied it had ever been repainted even though investigators found traces of yellow along the base of its walls.
Inside the investigators found pieces of gauze, a used syringe and two plastic IV bags encrusted with mud and empty bottles of medicine, some of which was of a muscle relaxant often used in surgical operations.
The application of a chemical substance revealed to the scientific team traces of blood on the walls and on the floor of a room inside the house, except for in a clean area of the floor sized 180x60cm.
The owner offered a variety of explanations for the bloodstains over the course of the two days the investigators spent in the village.
Initially he said that many years ago his wife had given birth in that room then when his wife said she had her children elsewhere he asserted that the family had used the building to butcher animals for a Muslim festival.
It is tempting to draw conclusions from these investigations, combined with the fragmentary testimony from the journalists. Stories of prisoners killed by organ traffickers circulate in many conflict areas, but rarely is it possible to find concrete proof which would separate these tales from urban legend.
The syringes, the iv solution bags, the gauze are clearly material which confirms the tales, but as proof they are unfortunately insufficient. The investigators were not able to determine whether the traces they found were of human blood. The sources did not indicated the position of the grave of the presumed victims and so we did not find the bodies.”
On 4 April 2008 the Human Rights Watch wrote to Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci and Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha in request to open investigations on the matter under international supervision. By 3 May both had ignored the letters and instead publicly rejected del Ponte’s claims as unsubstantiated. On 5 May 2008 the Human Rights Watch called the allegations from Del Ponte’s book “serious and credible” and issued a public call to Tirana and Pristina for cooperation.
The reported alleges the victims were more than 400 Serbs missing from the war. “Serious and credible allegations have emerged about horrible abuses in Kosovo and Albania after the war,” said Fred Abrahams, HWR Senior emergencies researcher of HRW.
“ According to the journalists’ information, the abducted individuals were held in warehouses and other buildings, including facilities in Kukes and Tropoje. In comparison to other captives, some of the sources said, some of the younger, healthier detainees were fed, examined by doctors, and never beaten. These abducted individuals – an unknown number – were allegedly transferred to a yellow house in or around the Albanian town of Burrel, where doctors extracted the captives’ internal organs. These organs were then transported out of Albania via the airport near the capital Tirana. Most of the alleged victims were Serbs who went missing after the arrival of UN and NATO forces in Kosovo. But other captives were women from Kosovo, Albania, Russia, and other Slavic countries. ”
In December 14th 2010, Dick Marty, Rapporteur of EU Commission pass for adoption to the Council of Europe a report on allegations of inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo organized by KLA leader and Kosovo Prime minister Hashim Thaçi. An official report accusing Kosovo’s prime minister of links to a “mafia-like” network that killed captives in order to sell their organs on the black market was yesterday endorsed by a Council of Europe committee.